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Canine-centered interface design: supporting the work of diabetes alert dogs

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conference contribution
posted on 2023-06-09, 20:24 authored by Charlotte RobinsonCharlotte Robinson, Clara Mancini, Janet van der Linden, Claire Guest, Robert Harris
Many people with Diabetes live with the continuous threat of hypoglycemic attacks and the danger of going into coma. Diabetes Alert Dogs are trained to detect the onset of an attack before the condition of the human handler they are paired with deteriorates, giving them time to take action. We investigated requirements for designing an alarm system allowing dogs to remotely call for help when their human falls unconscious before being able to react to an alert. Through a multispecies ethnographic approach we focus on the requirements for a physical canine user interface, involving dogs, their handlers and specialist dog trainers in the design process. We discuss tensions between the requirements for canine and the human users, argue the need for increased sensitivity towards the needs of individual dogs that goes beyond breed specific physical characteristics, and reflect on how we can move from designing for dogs to designing with dogs.


Publication status

  • Published

File Version

  • Accepted version


CHI '14: Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems


Association for Computing Machinery

Page range


Event name

SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

Event location

Toronto Ontario Canada

Event type


Event date

April, 2014

Book title

Proceedings of the 32nd annual ACM conference on Human factors in computing systems - CHI '14

Place of publication

New York, NY, United States



Department affiliated with

  • Engineering and Design Publications

Research groups affiliated with

  • Creative Technology Publications

Full text available

  • Yes

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

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First Open Access (FOA) Date


First Compliant Deposit (FCD) Date


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